Q: What are the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Getting vaccinated will decrease your risk of contracting and getting sick from the COVID-19 virus like the influenza vaccine decreases your risk of contracting the flu virus. The benefits of receiving the vaccine far exceed the risks of contracting COVID-19 and potentially having serious, life-threatening or life-long complications. Being vaccinated will help stop the pandemic in combination with following CDC guidelines.
Q: Vaccines usually take years to develop. The COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in under a year, how do I know they are safe?
A: The Phase 3 trials that took place for the COVID-19 vaccines were of similar size and nature to the Phase 3 trials that have taken place for other vaccines and medications.
Here is what the process looks like:
The data gathered from Phase 3 trials is subject to extensive review by independent experts in multiple areas of science including immunology, statistics, infectious diseases, virology, and vaccinology.
Once a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company submits a vaccine to the FDA for Emergency Authorization Use, it undergoes another round of review by the Vaccine and Related Biologics Product Approval Committee (VRBPAC). This committee then provides advice to the FDA before any decision is made.
Once the FDA decides to approve a vaccine, it goes through another round of review by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The ACIP then makes recommendations to the CDC on who should and shouldn’t get the vaccine.
Finally, once a vaccine is approved and individuals are deciding whether to get it, they will have access to information that summarizes the clinical trial findings. This includes data related to any side effects found during the trials and who should or should not get the vaccine.
Authorized Vaccines (as of 2/18/21)
Q: Can you get sick from receiving the SARS-CoV2 protein or the modified virus through the vaccine?
A: No, the proteins will not make you sick, however you may experience side effects from the vaccine.
Q: Will I experience side effects from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Yes, it is possible to experience side effects from these vaccines much like the annual influenza vaccine or any other vaccination. These side effects can range from a sore arm to feeling warm or muscle aches. These are signs that an immune response is building in your body and are completely normal. Experiencing these side effects does not mean you have a mild form of the virus
Q: Will I have to receive multiple shots in order to gain the full immunity to COVID-19?
A: The Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine both require the use of two vaccinations to gain the full effect. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine (currently under FDA review for emergency use authorization) will require a single vaccination.
Q: Should I get the vaccine if I already had COVID-19?
A: Yes, it is recommended. Previous COVID-19 infection is not considered a contraindication to receiving the vaccine. Antibody testing is not necessary or recommended prior to receiving the COVID-19 vaccination per CDC guidance.
Healthcare workers who tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 90 days have a choice to delay receiving the vaccine until near the end of the 90 days to allow other healthcare workers to get vaccinated first. There is evidence suggesting reinfection of COVID-19 is not common 90-days post initial infection.
Q: Will the COVID-19 vaccine make me test positive for COVID?
A: No, the COVID vaccine will not cause you to test positive for a viral test. You may however test positive if the test is measuring antibodies. This is the desired result of the vaccine. The goal of vaccination is for your body to produce antibodies to be ready to fight COVID-19 once you are exposed.
Q: Once I receive the vaccine do I still have to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines?
A: Yes, it is recommended that even if you receive the vaccine that you still follow all guidelines set by the CDC. This is because it will take time to immunize the entire country to the point where there is no concern of transmission.
For Grane Rx’s full vaccine FAQ please visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Information Center.